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Internet In Japan For Tourists: Pocket Wifi, Data Roaming, SIM Cards, Public WiFi etc

Japan Travel Guide
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Pocket WiFi rentals have become a trend for travelers around the world. If you have already done some research on Japan Internet, you probably have already heard about how popular Pocket WiFi rental in Japan is. Many are wondering why they should jump on this bandwagon. You’ll find out why later in this article.

Here’s a full guide to Pocket WiFi, SIM cards, data roaming, and public WiFi in Japan.

(Source: Japan Roaming)

Pocket WiFi

Pocket WiFi, also known as portable WiFi or WiFi router, is a great way to get internet access in Japan. It is a great option for not only families and groups but also business travelers, since it provides hotspots that can be shared among multiple devices. 

Pros: 

  • No need to worry whether your phone is locked or unlocked.
  • Shareable connection; you can share your connection with your travel companies & other devices.
  • It’s safe and password protected.
  • You can pick it up directly at airports.
  • You don’t have to search for Wi-Fi hotspots anymore – you have your own.
  • Ideal for Skype, Messenger, WhatsApp, etc calls.
  • Ideal for both solo travelers and groups.
  • No contract. 

Cons:

  • You have to carry pocket wifi with you wherever you go. However, it’s tiny and easily fits in the pocket.
  • You have to keep your Pocket WiFi charged – can be easily solved by a power bank/portable charger.
  • You will have to return it at the end of your rental. However, most companies provide airport drop-off services.

Conclusion:

WiFi router rental in Japan is ideal for both family/group and business travelers who have high data usage or have shareable connection needs. Plus, it wouldn’t use up your battery as soon as SIM cards do when you share hotspots with others. The only thing to keep in mind is that it is better to bring an extra power bank/portable charger with you during the trip. Also, remember to order online days ahead to make sure you get one!

(Source: Pexels)

Data Roaming

Among all available options, data roaming would be the most convenient yet most expensive way for your internet access in Japan. You might only get a limited data allowance for a large amount of money. 

Pros:

  • Convenient as you don’t have to change your SIM card or rent a pocket wifi.

Cons:

  • Really expensive. You will receive a massive bill after your trip. 

Conclusion:

Not recommended. Don’t go for this option unless you really need it.

(Source: Pixabay)

SIM Cards

If Skype or FaceTime isn’t sufficient for your voice call needs, you can buy voice+data SIM cards in Japan. The downside is that there is a somewhat complicated registration procedure to apply one in Japan. (You must upload a scan of your passport photo and visa pages to the provider). Nonetheless, this is a good option if you really want to make and receive phone calls with a local number, without paying crazy roaming charges to your own phone carrier. 

If it’s just a few days of the trip, I would recommend data-only SIM card since it is cheaper and more convenient to purchase.

Pros:

  • You get to make phone calls and text messages. 
  • No need to return, just throw it away when your vacation ends.

Cons:

  • Your phone needs to be unlocked.
  • New local number – be ready to lose your SIM contacts & to update everyone about your new number.

Conclusion: 

Ideal for solo travelers or businessmen/women who need safe internet access and have voice call needs.

(Source: Burst)

Public WiFi

You can find wifi hotspots at public places like convenience stores, cafes, restaurants, bars, cafes, hotels, museums, airports and train stations. However, it is said by frequent travelers they aren’t able to connect to the WiFi in Japan most of the time as there are too many people sharing the WiFi at a time. 

Pros:

  • It’s free.

Cons:

  • It’s not safe; your personal data is always at risk.
  • It will drive you crazy if you fail to connect.
  • Internet speed might be unstable; not to say making phone calls through WhatsApp.

Conclusion:         

If staying connected is a priority, public WiFi is definitely not recommended since its spotty and slow. Plus, it is very useful to have online-access google maps when you’re in Japan. Thus, buying sim cards or renting a mobile hotspot in Japan would be a better option when you are visiting Japan.

🤹🏻‍♀️Easiness: Data Roaming>Pocket WiFi>SIM Card

🔋Battery Life: Pocket WiFi>SIM Card=Data roaming

 

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